Hmmm. And then there's this really bad idea. Bloomberg with another unnecessary, idiotic rule - restricting availability of painkillers
From Saturday's NY Times.
In a bold experiment in performance pay, complaints from patients at New York City’s public hospitals and other measures of their care — like how long before they are discharged and how they fare afterward — will be reflected in doctors’ paychecks under a plan being negotiated by the physicians and their hospitals.
In the wake of changes laid out in the Affordable Care Act, public and private hospitals are already preparing to have their income tied partly to patient outcomes and cost containment, but the city’s plan extends that financial incentive to the front line, the doctors directly responsible for treatment. It also shows how the new law could change longstanding relationships, giving more power to some of the poorest and most vulnerable patients over doctors who run their care.
“I would expect that we’re going to see this become more and more prevalent in compensation arrangements,” said Alan Aviles, president of the city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation, which runs the city’s 11 public hospitals and is the country’s largest public health system, handling more than 1 million emergency room visits a year.
The corporation’s plan would make doctors’ raises dependent on their performance on quality measures. The details are being negotiated with the doctors’ union, but both sides expect to reach an agreement that incorporates the idea.
Still, doctors are hesitant, saying they could be penalized for conditions they cannot control, including how clean the hospital floors are, the attentiveness of nurses and the availability of beds.
And it is unclear whether performance incentives work in the medical world; studies of similar programs in other countries indicate that doctors learn to manipulate the system.
“The consequences in a complex system like a hospital for giving an incentive for one little piece of behavior are virtually impossible to foresee,” said Dr. David U. Himmelstein, professor of public health at the City University of New York and a visiting professor at Harvard Medical School, who has reviewed the literature on performance incentives. “There are ways of gaming it without even outright lying that distort the meaning of the measure.”
Over the next few years, the federal government will financially reward or penalize hospitals based on how they perform on benchmarks that are believed to be correlated with better patient outcomes. By aligning doctors’ pay to the same benchmarks, city hospitals hope to perform well enough to qualify for federal bonuses.
There's a bit more; hit the link.